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European Music Facts

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Setting off on your car journey to France, Germany or anywhere else in Europe? You need a great playlist. And there’s nothing better than to have musical facts to go alongside it! Europe’s musical history is rich and varied, from classical, to 80s synths, to Swedish pop domination. Every genre of music has found a home within Europe. Join our journey of musical facts, and maybe find some places to stop off along the way! Our journey begins, as it should, with classical music. The world’s most famous classical composer, Mozart was a child prodigy who despite being loved and revered for his musical creations, died penniless and was buried in a pauper’s grave. Fortunately, his reputation did not suffer the same fate, and he remains one of the most famous musical minds in the world. Mozart Facts Mozart’s house is a great place to go and discover the history of the great man himself. He always had a head for music, even at a young age. When he was 14, he heard Allegri’s Miserere and was later able to write it down in full, completely from memory! 14 was clearly a good age for Mozart, as it was also the year when he wrote his first opera, Mitridate Re di Ponto. Starting young, he composed his first 30 symphonies by the time he was 18. In total, he created 41 before his death at aged just 35. If you want to discover more about Mozart, there is nowhere better than his birthplace in Salzburg, Austria. Ten hours from Calais, you will pass through Germany, which is perfect if you’re planning a European road trip. It’s one of the most popular museums in the world, and a Mecca for all classical music fans. Disco in Europe Urtijë is the alpine birthplace of Giorgio Moroder. From the classical sounds of Mozart to the revolutionary synth pop that was blasted all over the radio in the 1970s and 80s. One of the most famous examples of this is Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Although Summer is American, the choice to use an entirely synthesized backing track came from revolutionary Italian music producer Giorgio Moroder. The song is regularly featured in lists of the greatest dance songs ever, and is widely recognised as one of the most influential pop songs ever made. Moroder was born in Urtijëi, in the alps of Northern Italy, but has resided in Berlin for much of his life. For those who are looking for a holiday with breath-taking natural sites and fresh, alpine mountain air, Urtijëi is a great place to stop by on your travels. The town itself only has about 4000 inhabitants, so if you’re looking for a quiet place off the beaten track, this is it! It’s three hours from Salzburg, if you’re continuing your musical journey, or 11 hours from Calais, taking you through Germany and Austria. Disco Facts The term ‘disco’ came long before the genre of music, and comes from the French word ‘discotheque’. In the 1970s, non-UK pop bands were grouped under the umbrella title ‘Euro-Disco’. Bands like ABBA, Boney M and Arabesque were all described as Euro-Disco. Europe’s Biggest Music Event… Eurovision! Did you know the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland? One of the biggest nights in Europe is Eurovision and although we haven’t been the lucky winners in recent years, many of our European neighbours have. The last time France won Eurovision was in 1977, later Belgium took the top spot in 1986 with Germany winning recently in 2010! On a long journey, fun facts are just what you need to keep the conversation flowing. Did you know for instance that the first Eurovision song contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland? Under four hours and half away from Moroder’s Urtijëi, you could even pay it a visit! Eurovision Facts It may be 40 years since France won, but their Eurovision woes aren’t quite as bad as Norway, who have finished last 11 times, and Cyprus, who have never made it into the top four. In 1969, there were no rules for what would happen in the result of a tie, and four countries won. If that happened today, it would be the country with points from the most countries who would win. That’s not the only rule. All Eurovision songs must be under three minutes, and no more than six people are allowed on stage. Do you want to make your musical journey across Europe? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, it is only 35 minutes to Calais, so before you know it you'll be ready to Hit the Road Jack!

Visiting Nantes

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Some people think that Paris has a huge magnetic pull, dragging all points of French culture to its hallowed avenues. But, that just isn’t the case, and Nantes is the city that proves it. Just under six hours from our Calais terminal, Nantes is a quirky and trendy city to spend a few days. From free galleries set up by international artists to a robotic museum, to beautiful gardens, there is plenty to keep you occupied. La Villa Ocupada Established by twenty artists from around the world, La Villa Ocupada features dazzling bright art, covering the ceiling, walls and floor. The art reflects their political views, so take your time there to study the art to see what it represents. It’s free to enter, which is ideal if you’re travelling on a budget. Les Machines de l’ile de Nantes Don't be surprised if you see a robotic elephant in Nantes! Credit : DominiqueBillaud/LVAN This is a real fantasy world, completely different to anything else you will come across in France, or possibly anywhere else in the world. The giant carousel, huge spiders and caterpillars, and other mind-blowing machines show just what can be achieved from science and engineering. But the star of the show is The Grand Éléphant. This is a huge elephant that can take up to 50 passengers on a 40-minute ride through Les Machines de l’ile de Nantes, stopping off at the carousel and workshops along the way. The elephant ride really is a must, but remember to book tickets far in advance, as it’s understandably in high demand. Jardin des Plantes Come to the Jardin des Plantes for beautiful greenhouses and unusual plants. On a warm day, make sure you spend some time walking through Jardin des Plantes. The garden was established in 1806, and its current form was developed in 1900. With over 11,000 species of plants and greenery, there’s plenty to see and do in the gardens. The greenhouses are also full of unusual and beautiful fauna, but be aware that there’s a charge to enter. Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul The stunning cathedral is a must-visit, but make sure you also pop by the secret garden too. Obviously, a trip to a French city isn’t complete if there isn’t a cathedral stop on the itinerary somewhere. Cathédrale St-Pierre et St-Paul is a gothic style cathedral, looming over Nantes. As well as a place of worship, it is also a tomb for François II, Duke of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix. There is also a secret garden at the back of the cathedral you can rest in. Musée d'Histoire Naturelle From tiny insects to a ginormous whale skeleton, all creatures large and small are on display at Musée d'Histoire Naturelle. There are lots of permanent collections on display, but there are also frequent temporary exhibitions too, so make sure you check what will be on when you visit Nantes. What will you do first in Nantes? Head off on a robotic elephant ride, or go see a whale skeleton in real life? Whatever you choose, there won’t be a long wait as it only takes 35 minutes to get from Folkestone to Calais. Book your tickets with us to receive the best price.

An Autumn in Champagne

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Planning an autumn break? The beautiful region of Champagne is one of the most popular areas to visit in France, and in autumn the area is especially beautiful. Find out what you can do in the Champagne region during autumn. The city of Champagne is only a three hour drive from our Calais terminal. Palais du Tau 45-minute drive from Champagne The stunning Palais du Tau has been the setting to many a celebration. If you’re visiting Champagne, it’s only right you partake in a bit of luxury. You don’t get much more luxurious than Palais du Tau, a palace that was once used by French princes before their coronation, and has been the setting of more than one raucous post-coronation party. It was originally a home for the Archbishop of Reims, but is now a Unesco World Heritage Site and museum. There are plenty of treasures displayed in the halls here - make sure you visit the Gothic Great Hall when you stop by. Troyes 1 hour from Champagne Multi-coloured ancient houses line the narrow cobbled streets of Troyes.  This ancient city has stayed pretty much the same since the 16th century, despite some renovations in the 1950s to make it more hygienic. If it wasn’t for the phone you’re using to snap photos of the streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back in time when you see the narrow, cobbled roads and rickety timber houses. Avenue de Champagne 25-minute drive from Champagne No trip to Champagne is complete without a journey down Avenue de Champagne, where the creators of the wine reside. The avenue is made up of 19th century and Classical style buildings that appear modern when compared to those of Troyes. But underneath the street is where it gets really interesting. Below the depths, there are over 100km of galleries dug out, which house millions of bottles of champagne. Champagne Aspasie 1 hour from Champagne A beautiful 18th century family run vineyard, with champagne to try. Credit: Champagne Aspasie Not only should you visit the coveted Avenue de Champagne, but a trip to an historic vineyard is definitely on the cards. Champagne Aspasie is a family vineyard, passed down by generation, that has been making Champagne since 1794. With five generations of wine making in its past, this is a family that knows all there is to know about the art of winemaking. Wander through the 12 hectares of vineyard, try the various types of champagne that are made there, and be a part of the history of this region. Top Five Must-See Vineyards in Champagne Champagne Barnaut Since 1874, this vineyard has been creating fine wine, by using game changing techniques. La Cave Aux Coquillages Not only can you see how the beautiful wines are made, but you can also discover the preserved geology that helps create this champagne. Champagne Tribaut Located in the birthplace of champagne, you can come here to get first-hand experience working the grape harvest. Parva Domus The owners are known locally as mamie et papy, and love to welcome guests into their beautiful stately home, encased by acres of vineyards. Pre En Bulles Biodynamic wines, horses working the vineyard and jazz concerts. This is a vineyard that stands out from the rest. Do you want to be sampling champagne, in Champagne? It’s easier than you think, as it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais with Eurotunnel. Book your tickets with us, for the best price.

Driving to Rennes

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Visiting Rennes The medieval town of Rennes may not be the first place in France that travellers tend to visit, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be explored. Known for its medieval buildings, stacked crookedly together, the impressive Rennes Cathedral, and the rose garden of Parc du Thabor, there are plenty of places to explore here. What to See in Rennes Rennes Cathedral The striking architecture of Rennes Cathedral stands out amongst the quirky Medieval streets. When visiting a French town, you must take a trip to the local church or cathedral, and Rennes is no different. The site has been home to a cathedral since the 6th century, and despite collapsing in the 15th century and being badly damaged during WWII, the Rennes Cathedral still stands. Its restoration was completed in 2014, and so it’s in beautiful condition. Head inside to see the Roman high altar and the works of art that cover the walls. An important piece of historical importance for Rennes, you should definitely visit to get a better understanding of the town’s history. Parc du Thabor The beautiful park is a great place to visit, either for a picnic or run around. In the centre of the town, Parc du Thabor is the perfect place to come for a homemade picnic or a wander through the rose garden, and during the summer, you can take in the outdoor events put on by the local bands and theatre groups. La Place des Lices This square is a great place to have a look at any time, but make sure you pay a visit on Saturday morning and have a wander around its market. Fresh food aplenty, it’s your chance to try local produce and delicacies, such as Breton cider and salted butter. Musée des Beaux-Arts During the French Revolution, there was a great number of artworks that were confiscated from public buildings. Instead of hiding these artworks away, hidden from view, the Musée des Beaux-Arts was founded in 1794 to display them. Today, you can see work by Claude Vignon, Léon Cogniet and Georges Lacombe. Where to Eat in Rennes La Saint Georges Tasting a piece of traditional Breton galette in Rennes is a must! When in Brittany, it’d be a crime not to sample a couple of crêpes and galettes. The area’s famous delicacy has benefitted from hundreds of years of careful thought and preparation put into its recipe, and is still as popular as ever. We’re all familiar with a crêpe, but a galette is slightly less common, at least in the UK. Galettes are made with buckwheat flour, making theme similar in texture to a potato pancake. Head to La Saint Georges to try their traditional Brittany crêpes and galettes. Will you choose sweet, or savoury? Where to Drink in Rennes Couleurs Cafe Exploring a new place can be exhausting, so you deserve a drink! Couleurs Cafe is a bright, lively spot for a cocktail or two. With a wide range of homemade rums, you will want to spend as much time as possible here. Where to Stay in Rennes Marnie & Mister H When you’re visiting a medieval city, you should fully embrace the architecture and style. Marnie & Mister H is a stylish bed and breakfast, housed in a 16th century building. Chandeliers, private balconies, and a sunny outdoor terrace make this a beautiful little spot to call your temporary Rennes home. Weather in Rennes The warmest months are July and August, with average highs of 24°C. Typically, December, January and February are the coldest months, averaging maximum temperatures of about 8°C. December has the highest level of rainfall, reaching 80ml, and the lowest is in April at 40ml. Getting there and around Rennes is just over five hours from our Eurotunnel terminal in Calais, but bear in mind that some of these roads (A16 and E402) are tolled. Take the A16/E402 to the A28, continue to Rue Saint-Malo, then continue to Rennes. There are plenty of car parking spots around Rennes, with many of the spots in the city centre. Make sure you always have some spare Euros on you, as some of the parking spaces charge. Hoche Car Park is a paid car park just a short walk from the city centre at €1.60 an hour. Want to discover more about Rennes? It only takes 35 minutes to get from Folkestone to Calais. Remember to buy your Eurotunnel tickets with us, to get the best deal.

The Best Music Venues in Europe

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When you drive through Europe, you need a good playlist. But what’s better than live music? Check out our favourite music venues located around Europe. France It’s not just Paris that has the best music venues in France! There are lots of different spots away from the capital that host brilliant bands, and cultural highlights. Palais Nikaia Nice: 11 hours from Calais Palais Nikaia is a striking bird-like venue, in the Nice Riviera. Credit : Renzo Giusti Under the perfect blue sky, on the palm-tree-lined streets of Nice, you can find the 9000 capacity Palais Nikaia. It has hosted bands such as Depeche Mode, as well as comedy and theatre shows. As it is located so close to the sea, the architects designed the hall to look like a magnificent bird, stretching its wings. Opening in 2001, it’s unique as it’s located right next door to Stade Charles-Ehrmann, adjoined with a sliding glass door. So, for huge concerts of 50,000 or more, the two can comfortably host. Le Chabada Angers: 5 hours from Calais John Cale performing at the cultural epicentre of Angers, Le Chabada. Credit : Simon Bonaventure Based in an old slaughterhouse, Le Chabada is the cultural beating heart of Angers. For over a decade it has supported local artists, and hosted concerts featuring a variety of genres. They also run musical workshops, conferences and educational concerts, all with the aim to promote music in the local area. The Netherlands Venture further from France, to Amsterdam. The Netherlands may not be the first place you think of when you’re looking for great music venues, but don’t be put off by first impressions! Concertgebouw Amsterdam: 4 hours from Calais The beautiful Concertgebouw is perfect for any classical music fan, or anyone who just wants to chill in a beautiful setting! Credit : Lydia z Opilik Concertgebouw is slightly different to the French venues, as its construction began in 1883, and it has been bestowed the honorary title of ‘Koninklijk’ on its 125th anniversary by Queen Beatrix, which is the equivalent to an English Royal Warrant. You can go behind the scenes of the concert hall, and discover the secrets to its long and influential history. For classical music fans, this is the perfect place to visit, to hear the great sounds of Beethoven and Mozart. Even if you’re not a huge classical music fan, there’s no better place to start your musical journey. Or, just stop by for delicious cake and coffee in the café. Belgium It’s not just chocolates and cobbled streets that make Belgium a great place to visit. It’s got a great cultural scene too, that people travel from far and wide to visit. The Roma Antwerp: 2 and a half hours from Calais The Roma is an iconic part of Antwerp, and of the Belgium music scene. Credit : Paulien Verlackt For a music venue with a twist, The Roma is a must-visit. It sits in the Moroccan suburb, in a 1920s cinema. During the week (Monday-Wednesday), head there to see vintage films played on the big screen, but for the rest of the week, it becomes a foot-stomping concert venue. Since the 1970s, huge stars have been queuing up to play The Roma. Artists like Iggy Pop and Paul McCartney have taken to the stage, so when you visit here you’ll definitely be seeing a part of musical history. Ready to pack your dancing shoes? It’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais when you travel with us. Make sure you book your tickets with us, to get the best fairs. Top image Credit: Jordi Huisman

Driving to Liège

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Visting Liège If you enjoy visiting cities juxtaposed with their surroundings, then Liège should be high on your list. An industrial town that is steeped in culture it is considered the capital of the lucious green Ardennes region. Liège sits at the crossroads to an important motorway network linking Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne. However this city shouldn't be overlooked to reach the bigger locations. When you walk through the city, feeling small between the looming buildings, you’ll see why it is an unexpected treasure. What to See in Liège Do you dare climb all the way to the top of Mountain of Bueren? Montagne de Bueren An uphill battle in more ways than one, the Montagne de Bueren is a staircase of 374 steps, sandwiched between the city’s buildings. The staircase was built in 1881 as a means to get Liège’s soldiers from the hilltop to the centre of the city without having to walk past bars and various other illicit properties. For anyone interested in the military history of the city, or who just want to put their legs to the test, it’s a must see. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège Like we said, you need to be within the city to discover its culture. On the outside, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège doesn’t look like an art galley, but it actually houses some of the finest pieces of art by French-speaking Belgian artists. Regardless of whether you prefer a particular school of art, or are a novice looking for an overview of the developments in the Belgian art scene, this is the gallery for you. Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew amongst the cityscape of Liege.  Liège is certainly the city of juxtaposition. Although the outside off Musée des Beaux-Arts de Liège is not as seems, the Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew is the complete opposite. Painted in a bright red and white design in the traditional Mosan style of the area, it is considered one of the seven wonders of Belgium. Festival Outremeuse If you’re visiting in the summer, we recommend joining in the celebrations of Festival Outremeuse. The celebration ends in a joyous occasion in mid-August, where everyone drinks the local gin pékèt, joins in traditional dances, and reads sermons in a Walloon dialect. Look out for puppets, firecrackers, and the procession of giants. What to Eat in Liège A Liège waffle still warm from the oven is a treat we could all do with more of.  Boulet à la Liégeoise Translated to English, it’s a dish of meatballs and fries in a rabbit sauce. But don’t panic, it’s not made from real rabbit; the dish was created by Géraldine Lapin, and so is named after her. It’s a rich sweet and sour sauce covering hearty meatballs, and as it’s Belgium, they can’t forget the frites. Liège Waffle Another classic dish from Liège is their waffles. Belgium invented the waffle, but Liège went the extra mile by adding sugar crystals to theirs. You won’t have to look too far to find these dreamy waffles, as many market stalls and cafes sell them. Smaller and sweeter than the traditional Belgian waffle, they can be eaten as an afternoon snack, held in the hand. Where to Drink in Liège Place du Marché Place du Marché in the centre of the city is where locals come together.  This square is not only home to city hall and iconic fountains, but also a huge variety of bars. At night, the Place du Marché comes alive, with people having a quick drink before dinner, and those wanting to make a night of it. On a warm summer’s night, sitting out on the square with a Belgian beer is a real treat. Where to Stay in Liège Amosa There’s no better place to stay than in an achingly cool hotel, right in the heart of the city. Amosa takes the industrial look of Liège and stylishly uses it to create a unique hotel. Amongst the shining chrome and exposed pipes are 18 comfortable guestrooms, with the main sites of Liège only a short walk away. There is parking nearby too, so perfect for those driving through Europe. Weather in Liège The weather in Liège is similar to the UK, with the warmest months being July and August, where the temperatures reach an average of 22.7°C. January is the coldest month, with an average of just 5.0°C. We would recommend bringing a raincoat, just in case, and a lightweight jacket for the summer months, as the warmer temperatures aren’t guaranteed. Getting there and around:  From our Calais terminal to Liège, it’s just under three hours’ drive. You simply take the A16 and E40 to to Jardin Jean-Bernard Lejeune/N607 in Liège. Then continue your journey to your first destination. There are plenty of parking spaces around Liège, with some parking spots being free. The free parking spots are located at Place du Parc, Colruyt, Carrefour and Delhaize (but the last three are for cusomters only). The free spaces tend to get filled up quickly, but it’s only about €3-€4 for two hours elsewhere. It won’t take you long to start exploring the unique city of Liège. It’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, so start planning your break away!

Driving to Caen

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Visiting Caen The historic city of Caen has quite a dramatic story behind it, from being founded by William the Conqueror, to being destroyed during the Battle of Normandy. It’s one of the main points of interest for history fans, or those with a connection to the devastating effects of the World War II. Nowadays, Caen still has tributes to those who fought and lost their lives in the war. But it is also known for its art, boutiques and markets. If you’re looking to drive to a French town with a rich culture, history and plenty of off-the-beaten-track spots to visit, then look no further than Caen. What to See in Caen The stunning interior of Abbaye aux Hommes Abbaye aux Hommes This is the resting place of William the Conqueror. Although, all that is left now is his thigh bone after Calvinists ransacked the building in the 1700s. When you visit the abbey, you can see that its architecture was inspired by English buildings; in fact, Abbaye aux Hommes wouldn’t look out of place in a British town. Fortunately, the abbey wasn’t damaged by the bombing in 1944, and you can still tour it today. Chateau de Caen Just over a ten-minute walk away is William the Conqueror’s home, Chateau de Caen. It was one of the most important castles during Norman times, where much of the strategy and policy that defined the era took place. It was severely damaged during World War II, and prior to that, during the French Revolution. But you can still visit the site, and wander through history. Caen Memorial Museum For a detailed and sobering account on the effects of World War II and the Battle of Normandy, the Caen Memorial Museum is one of the best memorials in Europe. The museum contains original artefacts from the war, so you can accurately see what life was like during those years. After visiting the museum, take a walk through the Souvenir Gardens, where you can see the memorials erected in memory of those who lost their lives. Beuvron en Auge If you are looking for a typical Norman village to visit on your drive to Caen, then Beuvron en Auge is a wonderful example. Just walking around the quaint streets, you’re immediately transported back in time, as you pass 17th and 18th century houses, with their low roofs and classic timber beams. Many people who visit do so to explore the Cider Route, a 40km route that delves into the cider making tradition of the area. The route passes through Beuvron en Auge, so make sure you stop by if you’re following it. The rich and famous have been flocking to the beaches of Deauville for decades. Deauville North-east of Caen is one of the more upscale parts of Normandy, where the rich and famous have graced its beach for decades. If you are visiting from April to September, you can rent one of their famous beach umbrellas, only made in Deauville, which will keep you completely protected from the sea breeze. This is also an area that anyone who is passionate about horses should visit. Flat races, jumping, polo and horse riding on the beach are all available. Honfleur One of the most popular places to visit in Normandy, come to Honfleur on your drive down to Caen for bustling streets, galleries and narrow houses, tightly packed against the River Seine. The town is nestled between two hills, Côte Vassale and Côte de Grâce, from the latter you can expect a glorious view of the Honfleur below. This is a great place to come to explore the shops and seeing the beautiful, brightly coloured boats floating along the river. Where to Eat in Caen La Galletoire For a classic Normandy dish of crêpes and galettes, head to La Galletoire. If it’s a warm, sunny day, try to get a seat outside so you can have your crêpes under the golden sun. L’Atelier Dine on rich, juicy burgers with a twist at L’Atelier. They are usually piled high with guacamole and onions, which makes them great for your Instagram feed. L’Atelier has quite a relaxed feel, where you can order and pay at the counter. Where to Drink in Caen Le Vertigo Cocktails in a cosy atmosphere, great music and friendly bar staff. Le Vertigo is one of the most popular bars in Caen, and for good reason. Either come here for a pre-dinner drink, or make a night of it. Where to Stay in Caen Chez Laurence Du Tilly Want a stylish, chic place to rest your head after a long day driving through France? Chez Laurence Du Tilly is the perfect choice. A townhouse in Caen which features three beautiful apartments and a cottage. The chic design has resulted in a hotel that wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of an interior design magazine. Caen is an ideal city to visit for a minibreak Weather in Caen Caen’s hottest months are in July and August, where it reaches average highs of 22C. Unsurprisingly, its coldest are December, January and February, where it’s usually about 7C. There is quite a high amount of rainfall all year round, so make sure you pack an umbrella and waterproofs. Getting there and around Driving to Caen from our Calais terminal is really easy and takes just over three hours. You can take the A16/E402 to A26, A29/E44 and A13/E46 to Boulevard Jean Moulin. Please note these roads contain tolls. Once you hit Boulevard Jean Moulin, just continue to your first destination in Caen. Caen is ideal for drivers, with plenty of places to park your car. Most parking is on the street, so give yourself time to find a space. The most popular places to park are on Port De Plaisance, Passage du Grand Turk and Rue des Fossés du Château. Many of the car parking areas accept credit cards, so no need to worry if you’re running low on cash. The history and culture of Caen isn’t far away. With Eurotunnel, you can get to Calais from Folkestone in just 35 minutes.

Unmissable Music Festivals in France & Belgium

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Don’t miss out on some of the best music festivals happening across the continent this summer. With Europe bringing in an eclectic mix of festivals in any genre, there’s an added bonus of discovering a new country on the way too! Summer marks the start of festival season for music fans worldwide, but with so many to choose from it can be hard to decide which ones to attend. The choices on offer in Europe however are definitely not to be overlooked. With typically warmer weather and cheaper tickets than the UK, driving to a music festival abroad can also double-up as a holiday! When travelling to Europe with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, there’s also no baggage limit. So loading up your car with your tent and other festival essentials is the perfect way to discover new music. See some of our top music festival picks in France and Belgium! Tomorrowland Boom, Belgium Under 2 hours, 30-minutes from Calais Immersive yourself in Belgium’s biggest Dance festival. Credit : Tomorrowland Tomorrowland is the world’s biggest dance festival and it’s no surprise why when you see it’s visually impressive stage designs. Every year has a theme that transforms the festival into an immersive experience like no other! This experience also extends to the festival camping ground too, appropriately named ‘Dreamville’! With a wide range of accommodation, this ‘city’ complete with a supermarket, a jewellery store and even a real hairdressers is the perfect place to recharge between acts. The festival takes place in late July at recreation area De Schorre, in Boom, which is easily accessible from the E19 and A12 motorways. When you are travelling on the highway, follow the signs “Festival Boom”. Once you get closer to the festival, follow the signs to “P Festival”. La Route du Rock Saint Malo, France Under 5 hours, 30-minutes from Calais Listen to the biggest alternative acts against the beautiful Brittany coast. Credit : La Route Du Rock If some of the biggest names in alternative, indie and rock music performing by the beautiful Brittany coast suits your tastes, then La Route du Rock is the festival for you. The four day festival takes place in or around the seaside town of Saint Malo in August, with big names playing the main stage inside the ruins of an old French castle. La Route du Rock is also less crowded with an attendance of 25,000 festival goers. However this doesn’t mean the acts are compromised as the festival regularly pulls in the biggest names in the industry. La Route du Rock offers ticket holders free parking on site. If you’re not in a rush there’s plenty of sights and towns to visit on the way to Saint Malo when getting there by car. So creating the perfect road trip playlist is a must! PukkelPop Kempische Steenweg, Belgium Under 3 hours from Calais Discover a wide variety of genres at PukkelPop and try to locate its secret rooms! Credit : PukklePop PukkelPop has been held at various locations in Belgium for over 30 years, before settling on a woodland site near to Hasselt. Returning every year in August, Pukkelpop offers a wide variety of artists from different genres. From rock, pop to dance music, the acts perform over eight different stages. Everything is not what it seems either, as there are ‘secret rooms’ across the site that are waiting to be discovered and explored. Festival goers can reach Pukkelpop via the E313 or E314 motorway. Which music festival will you drive to? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle it only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, the quickest way to cross the channel to discover more music!

Bump to Baby Travels with Eurotunnel

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Going on holiday with your little ones can be daunting. But when you travel with Eurotunnel, you can be reassured that the journey will be easy, with the added extra of seeing the stunning sights of Europe!  The lovely Alex Gladwin, from Bump to Baby, travelled with us to France, Belgium and the Netherlands with her husband Adam, and adorable boys Ethan and Logan. It was their first big road trip as a family, and Alex’s first time in France! They really embraced the culture of these countries, visiting aquariums, castles and fairy tale wonderlands. Alex’s Tips for Keeping Children Entertained on a Road Trip Even though travelling to France on Eurotunnel only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone, children still need some distractions in the car. Alex had some great ideas for making sure Ethan and Logan wouldn’t get bored, buying new toys they haven’t played with before, and creating games for them to join in which made the car journey fly by. Boulogne-sur-Mer A great place to learn and have fun, Nausicaa is a must-see! Only half an hour from Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer is the perfect place for little ones to stretch their legs once you arrive in France. Ethan and Logan discovered their inner marine biologists when they visited Nausicaa, one of the biggest aquariums in Europe. As it’s close to the beach, they were able to have a good play. After a busy day, they settled down in their hotel, with a well-deserved takeaway pizza. Lille Stopping off at Citadel Park, Ethan and Logan were able to use up all their energy An hour and twenty minute drive from Boulogne-sur-Mer, the family visited Lille, an ideal spot for families, as there’s so much to do here. Make sure you stop by Citadel Park, where your little ones can run around to their heart’s content. A great way to release all that built-up energy from the car ride. Like the Gladwin family, visit Lille Cathedral (Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille), where children (and adults) can discover some of the fascinating history of Lille. Plus, the cathedral’s imposing modern structure makes the ideal backdrop for your family photos.  All that exploring got our intrepid travellers peckish, so they definitely needed a filling breakfast. Le Pain Quotidien is a gorgeous, cosy café ideal for avocado on toast and a coffee to set you up for the day. Watch Part 1 of Alex's trip here: Ghent The views from the top of Gravensteen Castle are reason enough to visit! Driving through Europe means it’s even easier to hop from country to country, so the family were able to nip across the border from France to Ghent in Belgium and take in the beautiful historic sights there. They managed to get a perfect bird’s eye view of the town from the top of Gravensteen Castle, as well as meeting a knight! There are many ways to see the city, but one of the best is via a canal tour, where you can discover the city in a unique way.   Efteling To conclude their trip, the Gladwin family experienced the magic of Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands. Alex recommends taking a couple of days to see the whole park, as it’s so large. Efteling is based on magical fairy tales, and you can stop by one of the park’s shows to become fully immersed in the magical world. There are rides suitable for every member of the family, so everyone gets a taste of the adventure!   Watch Part 2 of Alex's trip here: Think your family deserves a road trip adventure? It’s even easier to discover Europe with Eurotunnel

Road tripping With the Evening Standard

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Are you planning a holiday to Europe, but need some tips on the best places to go? Whether you’re travelling as a family, or with your mates, the Evening Standard found the best places for you to go!  When it only takes 35 minutes to get to Calais from Folkestone, you don’t really need an excuse to go on a minibreak to France or Belgium. From visiting historical medieval sites, to brisk walks on the beaches, there is plenty to do. Our friends at the Evening Standard sent 15 curious travellers on an adventure to see just what you could get up to on a minibreak there. La Rochelle The Whittley family journeyed from Calais through to La Rochelle, an area overflowing with naval history. La Rochelle is 400 miles away from Calais and there is plenty to see and do along the way! Gabriella and Marcus (12 and 10) loved stopping off on the car ride and getting a taste of the French history - as well as a taste of the local ice cream! In Southwest France, sits La Rochelle. Since the 12th century, it has been known for its fishing and trade. Its history can still be seen when you walk through the town, past the timbered medieval houses and Renaissance architecture. On your way to taking a step back in time to La Rochelle, stop off at the towns and cities on the way and fully immerse yourself in French culture. Indulge your sweet tooth on waffles in Rouen and then walk it off with a stroll around the flower market, or get a bird’s eye view of Anges before taking a ride on a special four-person bike through La Rochelle.   Brittany There’s nothing quite like jumping in your car with your mates, and heading off on a road trip adventure to explore new places. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch and her friends did just that, and dived into a brand new side to France! From traditional thatched cottages and looming castles, to iconic art-deco buildings, there is no one side to Brittany’s culture. If you want to reconnect with nature, you can cycle by the canals, hike the sea cliffs, or even take up a bit of canoeing. Visit Parc du Marquenterre and look out for the varied fauna, such as the 300 species of migratory birds, who have made it their home. From here, make a stop at one of France’s most famous tourist spots, Mont Saint Michel. Watch the tide dramatically change, and feast on an omelette at La Mère Poulard. Once you arrive in Brittany, spend a day kicking back on the beach.   Le Touquet Travelling with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle with a young family is one of the more stress-free ways to go on holiday. But, we know that keeping little ones entertained can end up being a struggle during a long car ride. Fortunately, Le Touquet is less than an hour from our Calais terminal, and full of adventures that the whole family can get involved in. The Beck family and their children Willem (10), Delphi (eight) and Olive (four) spent a great few days exploring Northern France. For those with a young family, there are plenty of exciting things you can get up to! Discover the creatures of the deep at the National Sea Centre at Boulogne-sur-Mer. And see if you can get your little ones to try something new at one of the area’s many seafood restaurants.   Bruges It’s not just large groups that Eurotunnel Le Shuttle is ideal for, and it’s not just France you can visit. As Nadia Balme-Price and her husband Matt discovered, Belgium is a beautiful country waiting for travellers to stroll along its famous cobbled streets. Discover the ancient town of Bruges before heading to the more fast-paced Brussels. A trip up to Bruges is a great way to wander through history. Famous for its old town, markets and horse-drawn carriages, it’s one of those ‘must-see’ cities in Europe. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the Belfort tower for a spectacular view that more than makes up for the sore legs. Finish your Belgian road trip with a visit to Brussels. Known for its history, it is still incredibly cool and modern, and the streets all feature a new bar or café for you to experience. Discover the capital by cycling through the city, enjoying the juxtaposition of the old and the new architecture.   So, where will you head off to for your minibreak? Discovering Europe is easier than ever when you travel there with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. 

A Car Lovers Dream in Monaco

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Monaco, the home of extravagance, gambling and cars! When you visit this principality, you will definitely be able to spot a supercar or two, or three! For any car lover, Monaco is a must-visit. But, just where do you park up and experience the amazing cars? Supercar Spotting at Casino de Monte Carlo  11 hour drive from Calais Casino de Monte Carlo is a hotbed of glamorous cars! © Flickr user: Andy Miccone Once the summer months settle in, so do the supercars. One of the best places to spot the Ferraris and Lamborghinis is Casino de Monte Carlo. At night, more often than not, you will see a line-up of beautiful cars outside the famous casino’s steps that could rival Top Gear! If you’re planning on taking a trip into the casino, remember it’s an excuse to dress up, with jackets recommended after 8pm. Top tip: If your children are supercar fans, why not make a fun game for them? Make a list of their favourite cars, and tick off each one you come across. Exhibition of HSH The Prince of Monaco’s Vintage Car Collection 11 hour drive from Calais Take a step back in time when you walk through Prince Ranier’s extensive car collection. The handsome Prince Rainier of Monaco was quite the eligible bachelor, until he was taken off the market when he married film star Grace Kelly. They became one of the most famous couples in the world, thanks to their glamorous looks, and enviable lifestyle. As well as his marriage to Princess Grace, he was also known as an avid car lover. His car collection started during the 1950s, and continued right through his life. In fact, it grew to become so vast, that his already large garages became completely full, and no more cars could fit in! In 1993, he decided to relieve some space, and open his one of a kind collection to the public. For a small entrance fee, you visit the museum to marvel at these classic cars. From Rolls Royce to F1 sports cars, it’s like a sweet shop for car fans, big and small! Adults: €6.50 Children (8-14): €3 Walk Circuit de Monaco  11 hour drive from Calais The Circuit de Monaco is not only one of the hardest tracks to drive, but also one of the most beautiful. Just as it’s famous for its Hollywood royals, luxurious casino, designer shops, and heavenly beaches, Monaco is also well known for the Grand Prix. Every summer, thousands of people flood the streets to see the world’s most famous racing drivers compete for one of the most esteemed sporting titles in the world. Unlike the UK’s famous Silverstone, the Monaco Grand Prix doesn’t take place on a prebuilt track. Instead, it’s laid out on the streets of Monte Carlo. If you can’t make the Grand Prix, you can walk this 2.94-mile track, and imagine the roar of the crowd (and the cars). The track snakes through Monaco, past the historic buildings and looks down on to the sparkling turquoise sea below. Famously, it includes a tunnel, only one of two F1 tracks in the world to do so, the other being in Abu Dhabi. The track involves a lot of twists and turns, meaning that only the most skilled drivers excel here. If you come to see the Monaco Grand Prix, don’t expect to witness overtaking, as there are far too many bends for that. The racing driver Nelson Piquet said the course was like ‘riding a bicycle around your living room’. In fact, some of the corners are so tight that F1 cars are specifically designed to negotiate them, including the infamous Fairmont Hairpin. Start your journey to Monaco with ease. It only takes 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais when you travel with Eurotunnel. Sun, fast cars and beaches are nearer than you think!

Unusual Ways to Camp in France

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Camping doesn’t have to involve an old Glastonbury-battered tent, thin sleeping bags and howling winds. It can be a great way to embrace the great outdoors, and have a holiday like you never have before. There are plenty of exciting and unique places to camp in France, from old-fashioned wooden caravans, to treehouses, to giant snails. So, load up the car, grab the camping stove and don’t forget the guitar for acoustic singalongs. Here are the most unusual places to camp in France! Giant Snail! Dienné - 6-hour drive from Calais The limits are endless when you camp! Don’t fancy a tent? Well then, a snail will be your next best option. Credit: Glampinghub.com If you’re heading off on a camping trip, but don’t fancy having to spend hours pitching your tent (which sometimes requires the patience of a saint) that’s totally understandable! Going for a different sleeping option opens a whole range of choices, but did you ever think one of those choices could be a giant snail? Your snail sleeps six, and is equipped with a fully-functioning kitchen, double beds, a shower and living area. A little bit of unconventional luxury, is just what you want for an outdoor holiday! Located within an environmental amusement park, you can come out of your shell each morning to beautiful surroundings, filled with great activities like archery, mini-golf, horse carriage rides and fishing. But do make sure you take part in the activities in the eco-amusement park, which shouldn’t be missed. This is definitely a camping site for the quirkier traveller, who wants an experience like no other! Star Gazing Tree House Côte d'Azur - 11-hour drive from Calais These cute tree houses are designed for star-gazing purposes! Maybe you could see how many constellations you know? Credit: glampinghub.com  One of the great advantages of camping is sleeping under the stars, so staying in a tree house designed specifically for star gazing is ideal. This two-person romantic tree house is designed with a skylight above the bed, so you won’t need to go out in the cold to see the lit-up sky. It’s nestled in the grounds of a country estate, which feels like it is something straight out of a novel. Spend the afternoon sitting by the lake, wander through the vineyards, or cycle to the Hyères beach, only 20 minutes away. There’s also horseback riding, golf, fishing, and tennis if you want an active holiday! Transparent Pods Urrugne- 10-hour drive from Calais Camping doesn’t get much better than in an eco-friendly glamorous, transparent dome! Credit: glistencamping.com If you want to be able to see the outside world while you sleep, but are still tied to the idea of having accommodation, then these pods are for you. They’re stylish (hanging chairs, anybody?), cosy, and come equipped with luxury essentials- like a gas cooker, king size bed and decking. The shape of the dome means air can circulate around, it’s weather resistant, and the solar fan will keep it cool under the South of France sun. This is the ideal way to camp if you’re looking for eco-friendly, but with a glamping twist. Top image credit: glistencamping.com You don’t need to spend your holiday in a glamorous hotel to have an unforgettable trip. When it’s only 35 minutes from Folkestone to Calais, you can be sleeping under the stars in no time.

Christmas in Le Touquet

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The town invites you to the Palais des Congrès on Friday 27 November 2015 at 5.30 p.m. for the switching on of its incredible Christmas lights to the sounds of the Harmonie Jazz Band. Enjoy a magical evening that will enthral both young and old! From 19 December to 3 January you’ll also be able to take a spin on the ice skating rink and the ice path! And don’t miss the Christmas Market that will be held at the indoor marketplace on Saturday 12 December from 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. and all day on Sunday 13 December.   © Office de tourisme du Touquet The Enchanted Forest Visit the Enchanted Forest, with its many decorations and chalets full of foodie treats every weekend from the 27 November onwards, and every day from 19 December to 3 January, open from 2.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. The little ones will be able to deliver their letter to Father Christmas from 3.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. and immortalise the magic moment with a photo! Guided pony rides from the Enchanted Forest: every weekend in December and every day of the school holidays (except 25 December and 1 January) from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. You can also enjoy the town and its lights with a horse-drawn carriage ride: every weekend in December and every day of the school holidays (except 25 December and 1 January) from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.   © Office de tourisme du Touquet The Christmas Village The Christmas village returns to Avenue du Verger! Discover its market stalls, artisans and food sellers as well as music and a fairy-tale carousel, a magical ride to thrill the whole family. Open every weekend from 27 November onwards and every day from 19 December to 3 January, from 2.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.   © Office de tourisme du Touquet Book your journey

Tour de France 2015 South

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Cycling's biggest event Tour de France 2015 is well under way, with cyclists furiously battling it out to be in possession of the coveted yellow jersey. The race started in Utrecht (for the first time in Le Tour's history) and has since worked its way across the northern part of France, with stage nine finishing in Brittany's Plumelec. After a quick flight down to Pau, where cyclists will have a day to rest, the race will recommence on the 14th of July from Tarbes, a commune in the Midi-Pyrénées region of south west France. Following our first instalment on the Tour de France - North, here's a recap of this year's Tour de France and our picks for the southern part of the race. Stage one in the Tour de France 2014 Recap - What's new in 2015? This year's race began on Saturday the 4th of July and will finish on Sunday the 26th. The first nine stages took place in Utrecht and the northern part of France, and the remainder will travel from south west to south east France, before cyclists fly to Paris for the final stretch along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 22 teams are competing, racing through 21 stages of varying terrain, difficulty and distance, amounting to a massive 3,360km in total. Recap - What's the same in 2015? Like previous years, competitors are racing to wear one of the award category jerseys. These categories include best climber, young rider, and points classification. The yellow General Classification jersey, which is awarded to the cyclist with the best aggregate time, is the most sought after. Highlights of the Tour de France: South Stage 10: After a day's rest at Pau, watching the cyclists resume the race in stage 10 is sure to be exciting. The 167km stretch begins in Tarbes and ends with a difficult climb at La Pierre-Saint-Martin, a brand new site for Le Tour. Riders will be pushed to the very limit with a 15% gradient at around 25km long, which will make for great spectating. Stage 14: Although the majority of stage 14 is set to be fairly peaceful, the last 40kms are bound to be a thrilling watch. Cyclists will have to contend with three climbs, almost one after the other, before completing the 178.5km stage in Mende. Grab a spot along this last stretch to pick the best from best. Tour de France 2015 race route Stage 20: As the penultimate stage of the Tour de France 2015, stage 20 is perhaps the most crucial. This stage is not only full of challenging sections, but it's also the last chance for cyclists to make a real difference to the outcome of the Tour. The stage ends with the iconic alpine climb up the beautiful Alpe d'Huez - this is one for true cycling enthusiasts. Stage 21: The final stage of the Tour de France really is one of the best, and if you're going to choose just one stage to watch, then this is it. Cyclists will begin this leg at Sèvres, winding their way up to Paris and covering 109.5km, before racing up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées for what's guaranteed to be an unmissable sprint. Get down early to get a good spot, and watch on as the Tour de France 2015 winners are announced. Bravo! Want a piece of the action? Travel from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. You'll be in the thick of it before you can even say bonjour. Book your journey

Tour de France 2015 North

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The biggest cycling event There's no doubt that the Tour de France is the biggest event in the cycling calendar, attracting hundreds of thousands of track-side spectators and home-viewers from around the globe. Each year, the race route changes and new teams take part in what is regarded as the most notable cycling race in the world. Whether you're a cycling enthusiast or not, witnessing the Tour in action is a real sight to be seen, so here's our first instalment on the 102nd Tour de France, taking a look at this year's race and the highlights of the first nine stages. Spectators at stage one of the Tour de France 2014 History The first ever Tour de France was held in 1903 as a way of reviving L'Auto, a failing sports newspaper. The race was made up of six stages, each with an average distance of 400kms, starting in Paris and passing through Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes, before returning to the capital. The innovative and unique nature of the race captured the attention of people everywhere, popularising long distance cycling races and boosting newspaper circulation rapidly. The Tour was a huge success. It has since been taken over by the Amaury Sport Organisation, who continue to run the race today. What's new in 2015? The 2015 Tour de France will run from Saturday the 4th of July until Sunday the 26th, with nine stages in the northern part of France and the remainder in the south. The race starts in Utrecht and finishes, as has become tradition, with the final stretch along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. This year, there will be six new stage cities: Utrecht, Zélande, Livarot, La Pierre-Saint-Martin, Muret and Sèvres - Grand Paris Seine Ouest. The race will take place over 23 days, including two rest days, and will test 22 teams in 21 stages of varying difficulty, terrain and distance. The entire race distance will amount to a massive 3,360km. Cambridge, England, in the 2014 Tour de France What's the same in 2015? As with previous years, the Tour will feature various award categories, each signified by a different coloured jersey, including best climber, young rider and points classification. The most coveted is the yellow General Classification jersey, which is awarded to the cyclist with the best aggregate time. The leader in each category is calculated at the end of each stage, so the jerseys will change hands throughout the race. Highlights of The Tour de France: North Stage one: The northern part of the 2015 Tour de France begins with the Grand Départ in Utrecht in the Netherlands. As the first stage in the Tour and the only individual time trial of the whole race, this 13.8km stretch is guaranteed to be an exciting one to watch. The atmosphere will be buzzing and the crowds will be out in full force - a great stage to be track-side. Stage two of the Tour de France 2014 Stage four: Stage four of the route sees the return of cobblestones for the second year running, with a whopping seven secteurs of pavé for riders to navigate. It also happens to be the longest stretch of the race, covering a huge distance of 223.5kms. Cyclists will begin at Seraing, Belgium and make their way to Cambria, France, providing spectators with plenty of places to catch a glimpse of the racers in action. Stage six: During stage six, competitors will race along the French coast, from Abbeville to Le Havre, passing through beautiful scenery as they go. Watch from one of the many picturesque spectator spots in the Seine-Maritime region, including the famous cliffs of Etretat. Yorkshire, England, in the Tour de France 2014 Stage nine: As well as being the final stage in the north of France, stage nine is also the team time-trial stage. The 28km stretch will go from Vannes to Plumelec, and will end with a climb at Côte de Cadoudal. This stage could prove tricky as some cyclists are bound to have exited the race already, leaving teams short of competitors. Want a piece of the action? With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle you can travel from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, so you can be track-side in no time at all. Book your journey

Bilbao City Guide

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A diverse city Bilbao is a city packed with culture and boasts a diverse history. Once an important industrial hub, due to the iron quarries of the Biscay Bay area, it is only in recent years that the city has become the arts and culture centre that we know it as today. Evidence of this gritty past can be seen when exploring the city's interesting architecture, but the surroundings are packed with natural beauty too. The city's urban centre is overlooked by two modest mountain ranges, and these are lined with fantastic walking and hiking routes. Main Attractions The Guggenheim Museum Perhaps the most well-known of Bilbao's attractions, the Guggenheim museum was hailed as an important architectural feat when it was erected in 1997, and has developed since then to become a respected institution in the arts and culture scene. Its vast collection covers artworks from the mid-20th century to more modern pieces from today's art world, and it's known for having a great selection of post-war art from America and Europe. The building itself is constructed from titanium, limestone, and glass, to create an amazing contemporary structure of seemingly random shapes. If you're travelling with kids, there are some fantastic activities for babies and young children, as well as live concerts held in the evenings. Basilica of Begoña When you're in Bilbao, check out the beautiful Gothic-style basilica to the east of Bilbao's centre. It took many years to build, starting in 1511, and over this time some Renaissance influences were added to the architecture, making it a particularly interesting structure. Set on top of a picturesque hill, the cathedral is surrounded by beautiful gardens and if you climb the tower, you'll get some stunning views of the city. The contrast between new and old architecture can be enjoyed throughout the city. Plaza Nueva Created in 1821, this Neoclassical square is a great place to stop for some lunch when exploring the city. The 'New Square' is lined with pillared archways, and is home to lots of different restaurants and traditional Basque tavernas, and if you visit on Sundays you'll find a great market, selling everything from books, to flowers and jewellery. This part of Bilbao is a perfect example of the 18th century squares that are common in other places like San Sebastián and Seville, with large balconies overlooking the square. It's a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon, and the whole family can enjoy perusing the tavernas, and buying some holiday gifts for loved ones back home. Enjoy a coffee at Bilbao's scenic New Square. Doña Casilda Iturrizar park Bilbao is dotted with lovely urban parks that are great for games, picnics and soaking up the city sun, but one that stands out is Doña Casilda Iturrizar park. You'll find it in the pleasant neighbourhood of Indautxu, and it was the city's first large green space. Created in an English-style, it's a pretty, classical looking park which serves as a pleasant escape, away from the hustle and bustle of the city's streets. Features of the park include a pergola and a fountain that lights up at night, to produce beautiful light and sound displays. There's also a large duck pond in the park which attracts lovely local wildlife, so you can take the kids to feed the ducks or enjoy a romantic stroll around the Parque de los Patos (Duck's Park). In one corner of the park, you'll find the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which contains a wonderful selection of both Basque and European art from the Middle Ages, to the present day. The building itself is stunning, and the classic design of the original building contrasts delightfully with the modern wing, which was added in the 1970s. Take the kids to feed the ducks at 'Duck Park'. Gran Vía District When you visit a thriving city like Bilbao, you might want to do a spot of shopping. Bilbao's main avenue is Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro, a long stretch of shops, restaurants and tavernas, which run from east to west just south of Parque de Doña Casilda de Iturrizar. Stretching out for about a mile, the street is an important commercial hub in the city and has attracted world-class shops and designers, so whatever it is you need to purchase, you'll find it here! It's regarded as Bilbao's most iconic and recognisable street, and amongst the dazzling shops and restaurants, you'll see beautiful 19th century buildings and even works of art in the form of a large baby's head, created by sculptor and painter Antonio López García. Casco Viejo Spanish for 'old quarter', Casco Viejo is a wonderful part of historic Bilbao. The oldest part of this neighbourhood is made up of seven streets, which has given it the name Las Siete Calles (The Seven Streets). There's lots to see in this part of the city, from historical churches to the food market, Mercado de la Ribera. This huge covered market is a lovely place to pick up local delicacies, and you'll find everything you need from fresh meat to delicious locally grown vegetables. The buildings around Casco Viejo are notable for being colourful and interesting, and they pop out against the other more industrial parts of the city. If you're exploring the old quarter, remember to head to Bilbao Cathedral. Built between the 14th and 15th centuries, this beautiful building is a mixture of architectural styles, predominantly Gothic, although the portico is in a Renaissance style. The old quarter is a charming part of the city. Getting Around When visiting Bilbao you'll find that much of the city is made up of one-way streets, which are often quite narrow, and whilst a car is fantastic for day trips to the surrounding Basque Country, within the city itself, walking is a great way to get around to get a feel for the city. MetroBilbao is a smooth service that takes passengers down two main routes across the city, and it's a really convenient and reasonably priced way to get around. If you're headed to the Guggenheim museum, take the EuskoTran from Atxuri Station. This green tram takes a scenic route along the river and it's a great way to get to the museum directly. A charming way to see the city is by taking the Artxanda Funicular. This cable railway takes you to the summit of Mount Artxanda, where you'll find beautiful views of the city, as well as a park and restaurants. Getting there and around Bilbao is about half a day's drive from Calais, and with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle taking you from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes, it's a really great trip to take with the whole family. Book your journey

Best Roads to Drive in Europe

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Choose your journey Whether you're a car enthusiast, or just love to cruise along vast roads with your windows wound down, Europe has plenty of stunning drives that are bound to get your motor running. To get you inspired for your next drive, we've put together a list of some of the continent's best drives, from the hauntingly beautiful Schwarzwald in Germany, to the mountainous Alps. France Route de Gentelly Located deep in the Alpes-Maritimes in Southern France, the Route de Gentelly is one of the most scenic drives in the country. Traditionally, drivers are advised to start their journey from the charming town of Vence, a place dotted with cobbled paths and rustic Mediterranean-styles buildings. From there, drive further into the mountains towards Col de Vence, a road lined by rocky green verges. Continue through to the village of Gréolières, a beautiful place that's contained by rugged mountains and cliffs, which become sheathed in snow during the winter months. From Gréolières, take an upright turn where you'll come face to face with Route de Gentelly (D2). Along this road, you'll get to enjoy the twists and turns, as well as the unusual rocky arches that have formed over and around the tarmac. There's also a stunning stretch of straight roads that lead you through the breathtaking forest, so be sure to wind down your windows and breathe in the fragrant air. Germany Schwarzwaldhochstraße The Schwarzwaldhochstraße is a road that sweeps through and beyond the ever-enchanting Schwarzwald, or Black Forest. The scenic route covers over 60-kilometres, and reaches elevations of between 600 and 1000 metres, so you can look forward to enjoying breathtaking vistas of the Rhine plain and Vosges mountains. Begin your journey in the spa town of Baden-Baden, where greenery and delightful architecture are in abundance. On top of its great sights, it's also a great place to enjoy a bite to eat before your big adventure. From Baden-Baden, drive up and along the steep and curved roads to the castle of Bühlerhöhe, where you can look forward to incredible views high above the forest. Don't worry about missing out on the scenery as you're driving though, there are plenty of lay-bys where you can pull-over and really take the time to breathe in the mountain air, and relish in the surrounding natural beauty. Enjoy views of the Schwarzwald. Italy Stelvio Pass Located between the commune of Stilfs and the town of Bormio, the Stelvio Pass is one of the highest paved mountain passes in the continent, with the roads reaching elevations of 9,045-feet above sea level. The zig-zagging highways race across the jagged landscape, winding in and around the vast green valleys. Although there's no right or wrong way of driving through the pass, many motorheads advise beginning from the north-west side, so that you ascend the mountain and really get to enjoy the slow climb up. Yet, coming down is just as sensational, and has plenty of stopping points for those of you looking for the perfect photo opportunity. If you'd prefer to take on a stretch of curvier, twisting roads, make sure you head north onto the challenging but picturesque Umbrail Pass. Be blown away by the epic twists and turns of the Stelvio Pass. Austria Großglockner Hochalpenstraße One of the continent's most famous roads, the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße leads you up to Austria's highest mountain, the Großglockner, which stands at an impressive 12,461-feet high. The road itself is 48-kilometres long, contains 36 bends, and passes by gorgeous alpine meadows, scented forests and giant cliffs that loom over fleeting cars. On top of the impeccable views you'll witness as you change gear and take on the winding turns and twists of this breathtaking road, there's also the Hohe Tauern National Park. The largest national park in the country, it's the perfect place to park up your park and enjoy a hike across the fields of tall grass and wild flowers. As well as the beautiful scenery, you'll also get to enjoy the local wildlife, from spotting the mountain goats as they clamber up sheer cliffs, to scouring the skies for hunting eagles. Take in the impeccable vistas that surround the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße. Switzerland Furka Pass Connecting the quaint hamlet of Gletsch in the canton of Valais to Realp in Uri, the Swiss Furka Pass is a road that stretches right through this region of mountainous beauty. Snaking through the vast green valleys, the Furka Pass contains many challenging hairpin turns and steep grades that require some driving skill and strong focus. It'll be all worth it though, especially when you catch glimpses of the glittering Rhone Glacier and wildlife, which can be found dotted across the fields. The Furka Pass is such an idyllic road that back in 1964, it was used as a location for the James Bond film, Goldfinger. In that specific scene of the film, James Bond is shot speeding along the zig-zagging roads in his Aston Martin DB5, as he's hounded by Tilly Masterson. Make the same journey as Sir Sean Connery, picturing yourself as a top spy racing through the depths of the Swiss Alps. Try not to be too distracted by the tremendous beauty of the Furka Pass. Getting there and around If one of these drives has got you inspired to rev your engine and begin a trip of a lifetime, make sure you book your Channel crossing with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. It takes just 35-minutes to make that initial journey, so you'll soon be taking on the hairpin turns and steep stretches of Europe's best roads. Book your journey

Pilsen City Guide

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A place of religion and history, Pilsen is the Czech Republic's hidden gem. This year, Pilsen, or Plzeň as it's spelled in Czech, was awarded the joint title of European Capital of Culture, with the city of Mons in Belgium, so it's no surprise that it's one of the most fascinating and charming cities to visit. To inspire you for your visit to this captivating city, we've put together a guide to making the most of your time there. From exploring the city's beautiful places of worship, to having fun at the local breweries, Pilsen is a city for every taste. History and culture The Great Synagogue, Velká Synagoga The Great Synagogue, Velká Synagoga, is the second largest synagogue in Europe, and an amazing example of Czech architecture. Its original designs were put forward by Viennese architect, Max Fleischer, which included 65-metre high towers and gothic-style buttresses. But, the government didn't want the synagogue to compete with the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew elsewhere in the city, and so Fleischer's design was scrapped and replaced with Emmanuel Klotz's, which lowered the towers to just 20-metres, and changed the gothic design to include an oriental theme and neo-renaissance style. The finished building features a mix of styles from around the world, and includes a giant star of David on the front exterior, a breathtaking roof of red and white tiles, and beautiful domes. The beautiful sights of Plzeň. The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, Katedrála Sv. Bartoloměje The Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, or Katedrála Sv. Bartoloměje, is another example of Pilsen's amazing architecture, and is definitely worth exploring during your trip. Located on the city's main square, this wondrous example of gothic architecture was completed in the 16th century, and includes a spire that is 102.6-metres high, making it the tallest church in the Czech Republic. To really appreciate its beauty, wander inside to admire its stunning interiors, such as the deep-red bricks that make up the walls, and the long, tall stained glass windows that let in a rainbow of light. Plzeň Historical Underground For an extraordinary glimpse into Pilsen's past, make your way down to the city's underground, a system that was built from as early as the 14th century, and completed during the 19th century. Of the 11-kilometres of tunnels that have been excavated, 500-metres of this underworld labyrinth of passages, cellars and wells is open for you to explore. Guided tours are available, and various exhibitions and displays include a treasure trove of medieval findings that will fascinate and amaze you. Museum of West Bohemia Founded in 1878, The Museum of West Bohemia is huge, including a range of many other museums and galleries, such as the Museum of Religious Art of the Pilsen Diocese and the Puppet Museum. The museum features a vast collection of historical, artistic and scientific artefacts, and provides visitors with fascinating exhibitions, lectures, guided tours and workshops throughout the year. Exhibitions past and present have explored a range of interesting topics, such as Czech and German Bohemia during the 19th century, via a collection of historical artefacts, including books, money and busts. Past exhibits featured archaeological studies, such as palaeontology, which included rare and unusual paleontological specimens. Fun things to do DinoPark For a fun day out with your kids, make your way over to DinoPark and Pilsen's Zoo, where you can explore and admire life-sized dinosaurs and exotic animals. You and your kids can pose for photos with the park's Tyrannosaurus Rex and Diplodocus, explore life underwater in the 3D cinema's Dino Aquarium, and get to grips with the animals in the zoo. From watching the flamingos huddle together, to admiring the beauty of the prowling cheetahs, your kids will love learning about animals and reptiles from the past and present. Explore the dinosaurs at DinoPark Techmania Science Center If you and your family love learning about science, head over to Pilsen's Techmania Science Center, for a day of scientific fun. Established in 2005 by Škoda Investment, this wonderful science centre is home to a range of interactive exhibits, as well as the Czech Republic's first 3D Planetarium. During your time there, take part in the many exhibitions, such as Man Versus Animal, where you can learn how we compare to the force of other species, or discover just how powerful water is in the wet and interactive Water World. On top of all of the fun exhibits, be sure to stop by the planetarium, where you can sit back and watch a range of 2D and 3D dome projections of educational movies that explore the world of astronomy. Pilsner Urquell Brewery Pilsner is a famous type of pale lager, which has been brewed in the city of Pilsen since 1842. Golden in colour, with a high foaminess and light flavour, the Czech version of the lager is a true delight to drink during a sunny day spent sightseeing. If you want to learn more about the country and city's favourite beer, a trip to Pilsner Urquell Brewery is a definite must. During a tour of the brewery, you'll find out all about the history of the beer and how it's made. You'll also get the chance to attend the brewery's beer tapping school, where expert staff will teach you how to correctly tap your beer, give lessons on the correct lingo to use, and you'll get a ride on the onsite horse and carriage, during a tour of the brewery's grounds. Where to eat Zumbera This classic Czech restaurant is the perfect place for those of you looking to sample delicious and homely Czech cuisine. Popular choices include the ribs, which are served with garlic and plum sauce, and the pork knee with potato croquettes and tomato salad. For dessert, you can look forward to enjoying plates of pancakes covered in chocolate and fresh fruit, which goes perfectly with a pint or two of the local beer. Na Parkánu Located in a historical building that was once used as a prison and a locksmith's workshop, this charming restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Czech dishes. On a sunny day, sit on the outdoor terrace, and dig into roasted sausages with mustard and horseradish, or fried pork schnitzel with delicious potato dumplings. After your main, you can finish your evening with a portion of apple strudel covered in nuts and whipped cream, as well as a pint of beer in the neighbouring brewery museum. El Cid For something a little different, check out El Cid, an amazing tapas restaurant that's perfect for when you fancy a quick nibble. Snack on marinated octopus or Spanish Serrano ham with caramelised pear, or try the restaurant's Asian influenced dishes, which include pork tenderloin wrapped in nori seaweed, which is served with wasabi mashed potato and pickled ginger. Places to stay Budget For somewhere cheap, but full of character, book a stay at the Hostel River,, where rooms go for as low as just £10 a night. Located close to the River Radbuza, the city centre and Pilsner Urquell Brewery, this charming hostel includes spacious rooms with comfortable beds and sofas, as well as a garden where you can enjoy barbecues during the summer. Mid-range For somewhere comfortable, that doesn't break the bank, enjoy a stay at the Courtyard Pilsen hotel, which is run by the Marriott group. The hotel includes delightful rooms that are pet friendly, so you can bring along your four-legged friends, as well as an onsite gym and eatery, the Pils`n`Grill Restaurant & Bar. After a busy day exploring the city's sights, relax on your room's balcony with a glass of wine, and enjoy a perfect end to a brilliant day. Luxury For accommodation like no other, book an apartment with Golden Fish Hotel Apartments,where luxury and comfort are top priorities. Located close to the stunning Borský Park, this four-star collection of apartments is perfect for those of you looking for something special during your time in Pilsen. Each apartment is stylish and chic, and includes a beautiful bathroom, comfortable bedding and a living space with TV. On top of the accommodation, the hotel also includes an amazing restaurant and bar, that's perfect for when you fancy a relaxing evening in. Enjoy the expensive taste of Spain's angulas. Getting there and around It takes just 35-minutes to cross the Channel with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle,meaning you'll be on the road and on your way to Plzeň in no time at all. Book your journey

Europe's Most Unusual Local Delicacies

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Taste your way through some of Europe's most unusual local delicacies. When travelling through Europe, often the best part is sampling the delicious cuisine that varies from one country to the next. With every Michelin-starred restaurant, there's a local diner where the very best, and often more unusual, local delicacies are served. If you're feeling adventurous, and want to challenge your taste buds, follow our inspiring guide to the most cherished, yet strangest, dishes throughout the continent. France Escargot This typical French dish consists of land snails, which have been removed from their shells, cooked in garlic butter, and then placed back in their shells for presentation purposes. The molluscs are seasoned with fresh herbs, such as parsley and thyme, and are often served with pine nuts in a garlic sauce. When dining out, you'll be provided with specialist cutlery, which include a tong to hold the shell, and a fork to pick out the tender meat of the snail. Cuisses de Grenouille Cuisses de Grenouille, or frog legs, is a true French delicacy, and a dish that's renowned across the English speaking world. Traditionally, this dish is eaten in the region of Dombes, in the south of the country, where it's often served grilled and smothered with garlic, butter and fresh herbs. The dish mainly uses the back legs of a frog, and the texture is often compared to that of chicken, with the flavour having hints of fish. If you can get past the thought of eating a frog, this is a delightful delicacy that you'll learn to love. Frog legs being grilled with herbs Andouillette sausage The andouillette sausage is a coarsely cut sausage made from pork intestines, wine, and onions, and is seasoned with pepper. A true andouillette sausage is rarely seen outside of France, so if you're unsure you're buying the real thing at the local market, you'll be able to confirm by catching the strong, distinct odour the sausages omit. Although you may be put off initially by the thought of eating this unusual sausage, it has a large fan following from around the world, known as the Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentique. The sausage can be served hot or cold, depending on your preference, but one of the best ways to enjoy this strange delicacy is with a rich red wine sauce. Can you brave the smell of the andouillette sausage? Germany Zungenwurst Otherwise known as blood tongue, zungenwurst is a German head cheese that's made up of pig's blood, suet, bread crumbs, oats and pickled cow tongue. It tastes delicious when sliced and fried in butter, so don't be put off by the clear jelly casing that reveals the tongues and blood inside. If you fancy trying this when travelling through Germany, as well as the many other head cheeses available, visit one of the local delicatessens. Slices of zungenwurst go perfectly in sandwiches. The Netherlands Paardenrookvlees Paardenrookvlees, or smoked horse meat, is a Dutch delicacy that's commonly served sliced and in sandwiches. If you want to try it out during your trip to the Netherlands, make your way over to a local delicatessen, where it's often prepared and sliced on site. Paardenrookvlees is not alone in Dutch cuisine; horse meat is a popular alternative to beef in the country, and can be found in many restaurants across the country. In Amsterdam, the Steakhouse Piet de Leeuw restaurant is a great example of chefs producing great tasting beef and horse steaks. Enjoy the succulent horse steaks with a large portion of crispy fries, and end your meal with delicious vanilla ice cream with a topping of your choice. Dig into smoked horse meat. Portugal Dobrada Guisada This Portuguese tripe stew is a popular dish amongst locals, despite its unusual main ingredient of offal. This traditional dish is common in the city of Porto, and is often cooked with beans, vegetables and sausages in a rich sauce, and served with polenta. The love for tripe goes back many years, right into the medieval ages, and now the meat is so much a part of the city's culture, that the locals of Porto are often referred to as tripeiros, or tripe eaters. The famous dish can be found in most restaurants in Porto, so just grab a table and ask the waiter for a generous helping of dobrada guisada. Tripe is a popular ingredient in Portuguese cuisine. Italy Casu Marzu Casu Marzu is a Sicilian sheep's milk cheese, and is often referred to as maggot's cheese because of the live larvae that lives inside it. The cheese is created when pecorino cheese is left outside with the top of the rind removed to ferment, and to allow the piophila casei fly to lay eggs inside the cheese. As the maggots begin to eat their way through the cheese, the acid from their digestive system breaks down the cheese's fats to give it the soft texture its renowned for. The cheese can only be eaten when the maggots are alive, and as they can jump up to six inches when disturbed, it's advised that you cover your face when eating. To truly enjoy this unusual cheese, it is best to spread it onto pieces of the traditional Sardinian flat bread, pane carasau. Sample the soft casu marzu cheese, just watch out for those flying maggots! Stracotto d'asino If you ever find yourself in the historical region of Lombardy, a great local delicacy to try is stracotto d'asino, or donkey stew. During the 19th century, this dish was a well-loved winter meal that took around eight hours to cook, which left the usual sinewy meat tender and soft. Nowadays, the meat is cooked with red wine, tomato sauce, juniper berries and bay leaves, making it a delicious meal to enjoy during a cosy evening in. Spain Angulas Angulas are baby eels, which measure just three inches long, and look like small silvery pieces of spaghetti. Although petite in size, these delicious delicacies come priced at over 1,000 Euros per kilogram, making them an expensive treat. If you do decide to invest in a portion of these during your Spanish travels, treat them with the care and attention they deserve when cooking. For the best result, fry them with garlic, chili and salt, and eat them while they're still hot. Enjoy the expensive taste of Spain's angulas. Getting there and around If you're feeling adventurous, and fancy sampling one of these unusual culinary delicacies, make sure you book your journey with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. It only takes 35-minutes to cross the Channel, so you'll be enjoying paardenrookvlees sandwiches and escargot in no time at all. Book your journey

Secret Cultures of Europe

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Catalan The northeast of Spain is home to one of the country's most historic regions - Catalonia. Catalan nationals stand out from their Spanish counterparts in that they have a distinctive culture. Catalan survived in secret for thirty years during the Franco dictatorship, and whilst Barcelona is by far the region's largest city, we recommend exploring the rest of Catalonia to get to grips with this proud and individual culture. Beautiful nature There are many beautiful parts of Catalonia to explore, from the heights of the Pyrenees to the beautiful beaches on its east coast, it makes for the perfect family adventure. The beautiful town of Cadaqués sits on the very tip of Catalonia's east coast, and has been influenced throughout history by places such as Greece and Rome. You can while away the hours wandering through its Medieval old town and you'll find a contrast of Modernist-style buildings lining the seafront, some of which were influenced by Cuban architecture. Girona The city of Girona is a really easy drive from Barcelona and contains some incredibly interesting and unique sights. You'll find wonderful Romanesque and Gothic architecture, as well as one of the most well-preserved Jewish quarters in Catalonia, The Call. Venture down these narrow historic streets and be sure to visit the Museu d'Història dels Jueus, which gives a detailed look at the tumultuous history of the Jewish community in Spain. North of Girona you'll find the town of Figueres, which is home to the incredible Teatre-Museu Dalí. Explore this astonishing building to discover a selection of the artist's work, and visit the famous Torre Galatea where Salvador Dalí spent the last years of his life. Catalonia cuisine One thing you'll notice when exploring Catalonia is the abundance of Botifarra (a type of sausage). There are more than a dozen different types of sausage in this region of Spain, so head to one of the many meat markets to sample them for yourself! The most common is Botifarra, which is a simple, thick sausage made of pork. Another great dish to enjoy is Escudella i carn d'olla - a traditional Catalan stew. It contains large pilota meatballs and delicious fresh vegetables. Often you'll find that the stew contains pasta or rice, which makes it a really hearty dish. For those of you with a sweet tooth, we love Xuixos. These are a traditional sweet pastry stuffed with Crema Catalena (similar to crème brûlée), and are coated in sugar to create a tasty treat! Basque You'll find the Basque Country in the very south of France, stretching over the border into northern Spain, on the western part of the Pyrenees. With such beautiful cities as Bilbao, San Sebastian and Biarritz, the Basque region is home to a proud community with an individual and fascinating culture. Lekeitio Much of the Basque Country is well-travelled, and whilst the dazzling sights of San Sebastian are a delight, the town of Lekeitio is a charming example of Basque Country living. Just over 50 kilometres northeast of Bilbao, Lekeitio is visited by many as it was the birthplace of priest, poet and academic, Resurrección María de Azkue - an important figure in Basque history. Lekeitio is home to two beautiful beaches that are overlooked by a mountain, and one of the main sights here is the Basilica of La Asunción de Santa María. This beautiful building is an example of the Late Basque Gothic style, and inside it holds a great selection of historical and religious artefacts. Lekeitio is a beautiful fishing town French Basque In the northern Basque Country, you'll find beautiful surroundings in the form of La Rhune mountain. Sitting right on the border of France and Spain, this mountain is an important site in Basque culture, as according to Basque mythology it was a meeting place for witches. Across the mountainside, you'll find Neolithic memorials and stone circles, so it makes for a fascinating hike. It's possible to take a small train up La Rhune mountain, which is great if you're travelling with kids! The French Basque region is perhaps one of France's most underrated parts, but it has loads to offer for travellers. The two main towns here are Biarritz and Bayonne. Biarritz is a great place to visit with the family, as it has a total of six beautiful beaches. You'll find some world-class surfing schools here, and the aquariumis worth visiting, too. When visiting Bayonne, be sure to head to the Basque Museum, where you'll find a vast exhibition covering the customs and history of the Basque people. Basque Cuisine Within Basque cuisine, there exists an interesting contrast between the food sourced from the surrounding oceans, which is enjoyed in the coastal towns and cities, and the meats, freshwater fish and vegetables that dominate Basque cuisine further inland. This means that you'll experience a variety of food when travelling the Basque Country. Gâteau Basque is a beautiful pastry dessert from the French Basque country. Underneath a crisp outer layer, you'll enjoy a soft almond sponge. Typically there are two fillings, one almond cream and the other a cherry conserve. A dessert of contrasts, we love this gâteau! One thing we love about Spanish cuisine is tapas. For the Basque alternative, be sure to try pincho on your travels. These Basque-style tapas can be enjoyed as a bar snack in a Basque tavern, and are great when you're with the family or a group of friends. Toppings (often seafood, such as prawns) are layered on top of bread and secured in place with a toothpick. Delicious! Pinchos are a delicious tapas-style dish found in the Basque Country Flemish Flanders is home to the Flemish community, and is rich with hundreds of years of art and culture. Due to various influences throughout history, including German and Anglo-Saxon, Flemish people are very open-minded to other cultures. This is apparent when you view the fact that most Flemings speak at least one or two other languages, so you won't be stuck when travelling around! Great Museums One way to explore a new culture is to check out the best museums and galleries in the area. Flanders is home to some of Europe's finest art, and you can see some incredible modern works of art at the M-Museum, in Leuven. If you're into design, head to Ghent's Design Museum, which houses examples of 17th and 18th century Flemish design, as well as more contemporary pieces. Antwerp's Middelheim Museumis a great outdoor space dotted with beautiful sculptures - great for a sunny day. Explore Leuven and its historic old centre History Flanders Fields are great to explore by car, and you'll find a number of monuments throughout Flanders to commemorate the soldiers lost during WWI. Head to Ypres to see the In Flanders Fields Museum, to learn more. Nearby the city of Diksmuide you'll find some of the last remaining trenches, from the end of the war. Although these make for a sombre activity, they serve as a great educational trip for the whole family. The Gothic Cloth Hall in Ypres is home to the In Flanders Fields Museum Nature Flanders is a beautiful region of Belgium, and you're spoilt for choice when it comes to a picnic spot! Check out the stunning botanical gardens in Meise, which is just three kilometres from the famous Atomium monument. One great place for kids is De Averegten Provincial Domain, a wooded area southeast of Antwerp, with farm animals, floral gardens, a playground and some fun nature education activities. The Atomium Monument in Brussels attracts tourists from the world over Food There's more to enjoy in Flemish cuisine than waffles and Belgian chocolate! Enjoy fries with delicious fresh mussels, or alongside a hearty Flemish beef stew (beef cooked in beer). One of our favourite Flemish dishes has to be Stoemp. This dish can be found all over the country, but particularly in Brussels, and contains pureed potatoes, mashed vegetables, bacon and sausages. Delicious! Another food you'll find in Flanders is endives. These tangy vegetables are a staple in any Flemish diet, and we love them wrapped in ham, covered in a creamy cheese sauce and baked in the oven. Getting there and around You can explore Europe so easily with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, which takes you from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes. Explore Europe's hidden cultures today! Book your journey

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